We all know that good marketing is the rock upon which publishing success is built. Okay, so it’s actually good writing, but I’m a commercialist and dabble in cynicism, so humour me for the rest of this post. Even those great, teetering towers of the publishing industry, the Big Six/Five, expect their stables of authors to take an active hand when it comes to marketing these days, especially in the strange world of the Online.
I take an interest in marketing, if only because it serves as a means towards an end for my greedy, morally corrupt soul. How can I better promote the border-violating, annex-loving expansionist growth of my burgeoning writing platform fiefdom? Good blog posts, yes. A frequently used twitter, yes. Interaction with readers and fellow writers, indeed! Even a Facebook fan page has its uses.
But there must be more! That;s what I said to the internet recently, and the Internet said yes, yes there is. It showed me two sites, tailored to improve anyone’s online presence. Reach and Influence are the tokens they trade in, measuring success in followers and interactions. Do these things equate to book sales? Certainly not, but they can help.
The first of the two marketing assists I’ve been investigating recently is Headliner. It serves as a hub for all your online content, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, you name it. Once you’ve plugged yourself in you can interact with other Headliner accounts. The deal is pretty simple – you put up your work, whether it be blog posts, music videos ect, and hope other Headliners will share it with their followers. You in turn are expected to share other people’s work within your own networking sphere.
The second site worth a look is Klout. Like Headliner, Klout collates your online presence from all your different networking sites. Unlike Headliner, Klout is more focussed on analysis than sharing. It gives you a rating using a complex little matrix, scoring your influence and ability to reach people out of 100. According to them Barak Obama is ranking at the world’s most influential with a score of 99 due to his massive twitter following. Average Joe’s score is 40. Mine is 42, so I’m edging up there. Presidenthood here I come.
As for how I’ve found using the sites, my experience thus far has been brief. Headliner seems quiet – nobody’s chosen to promote my work, but that’s probably because I’ve not yet found something I want to promote to you lot. Presumably things would be more responsive if I became involved in the community. Klout is nice for what it is – a tool for evaluating yourself. There’s probably not too much point in putting great stock in its scoring system, but it’s a nice way of tracking the progress of your platform.
There are doubtless more handy tools for marketing out there. Certainly publicity management is developing with incredible speed, and traditional publishers are struggling to keep up. That means more power to the people – or in this case the authors – provided they embrace the technology available to them. Long may it continue.